There are so many places to eat in Walsall now that I have not visited so I decided to do an A-Z of un-ticked places. First problem there isn’t one that starts with a X that I can think of and I’ve also studied the council hygiene website and there isn’t one listed there. So an A-W & Y-Z list it is then.

I was also going to do it in proper order A-E, F-J etc but my failed initial attempts to tick off B and E in prompted a re-think and I’m just going to report them in what ever order I visit. Makes it a bit back to front and possibly a Pulp Fiction jumping around feel to it. Let’s hope for less dead bodies and a coffee as good as Jimmy serves up in that film somewhere along the way.

K. KFC – c/o ASDA, George Street, Walsall.

I had absolutely no idea that KFC were opening a franchise inside our ASDA store until I walked past on Christmas Eve (I was actually on a food finding mission before several hours of drinking) and I saw a sign saying “KFC open inside”. Imagine my delight as our town centre branch didn’t reopen after lockdown 1 and my God have I missed the Colonel’s mix of 11 herbs and spices. I rushed inside only to find out it was “opening soon”. Fummin.

Then one gloomy January evening I got home to find money off vouchers through the door. Figuring it must now be open I decided it needed visiting. I didn’t hang around. I went the following night.

On arrival it was busy. Usual scenes, people waiting for food and others making using the self service screens look like something off The Cube. “You have thirty seconds to use the self serve facility to order a fillet tower burger and medium orange Tango. Sounds easy yeah, but nothing is easy in The Cube” “Cube, play the game”. Dramatic noise. “Eight lives remaining” etc etc. After a couple of minutes I decided to see if I could order at the counter and soon my reduced price boneless banquet (with gravy of course) was ordered.

Colonel we’ve missed you.

I retreated to wait and as per normal I went completely into standby mode. My number had to shouted twice before I responded. I collected my food and it was in a massive paper bag. Angry shoppers were departing the checkouts with their trolleys and pointing, tutting and muttering “look how much food that fat prick has got”. Okay they weren’t but I wouldn’t have blamed them if they did.

I then noticed that everyone else had gone. I was now the sole customer and it felt odd siting in the empty dining area but the food was excellent and I quickly devoured the lot.

I got home the next night and the same money off leaflet had been pushed through my door again. I think I now need to give up boneless banquets for Lent.

F. Fireaway. Lower Hall Lane, Walsall.

Fireaway or Fire (a) as it would be known on Twitter is a pizza company that recently opened it’s 100th store choosing Walsall as the location for this prestigious number. On launch day to mark this they gave away 100 free pizza’s. Typically I’d got the day before off but not this one. I left it a couple of weeks before visiting. As I approached I sang Fireaway, Fireaway, Fireaway to the chorus of Orinoco Flow. I do silly things like this just to amuse myself.

Do not sing Enya as you approach.

I opted for the Meathead pizza and Custard Cream milkshake. The very friendly lady advised that the pizza would be 5-6 minutes (the sign on the door says 180 seconds) which was fine as I had plenty of time to kill on this occasion. Next was a question that really threw me. Eat in or take away. I pondered eating it on the way to the bus station but I’d probably only eat two slices by the time I’d get there. The lady advised that it was nicer eaten in with it being fresher. Factor in that the weather was cold, nasty and unpleasant which I like as it matches my personality but it’s not ideal for standing around eating pizza in. So I opted to eat in.

I thought of a really good caption for this picture but forgot with.

The pizza was good, well it’s pizza. It’s always going to be. The custard cream milkshake was lush and like a fine bitter offered good biscuit notes.

A good visit. They do a luchtime collection offer which I may partake in next time I’m off work.

D. Dave’s Cafe. Walsted Road West, Walsall.

I’ve wanted to visit this place for ages so after two postponed visits due to alcohol induced lie ins I finally made it.

Well it’s bigger inside than I thought it would be and most of the tables were occupied which is a good sign. I opted for the medium breakfast at £5.80 whilst expressing no tomatoes or mushrooms. I was offered a substitute which earned bonus points as some cafes do not allow this.

The breakfast arrived quickly and most of the waiting time was spent wishing a man to hurry up and put his milk and sugar into his tea so I could do the same with mine. The breakfast included a extra piece of bacon. More points.

The big plus was the toast was cut horizontally. I’m a relatively calm fellow but if you want to see me go from placid to tirade in 20 seconds just mention cafes that cut their toast at a jaunty angle. Even more points.

Dave does good breakfast. I’d like to think that Trigger out of Only Fools & Horses would call it Rodney’s Cafe.

Once I’d finished throwing points around, which was a relief to the other diners I tucked in. Food was good. You can’t go wrong with a full English and this didn’t.

The serviettes came in a choice of colour either red or green, a nice nod to the fact that Bescot Stadium, home of Walsall FC is just down the road.

T. Turkish Shawarma, Caldmore Green, Walsall.

Last Sunday I was going to get the N tick in with a visit to Norwegian Kebabs in Caldmore. I stepped out into a bit of wind and rain, a dress rehearsal for the incoming Storm Franklin maybe. It didn’t take long for me to reach the store only to find that it is now called Desi Kebabs. And the Norwegian flag has gone from the window. Whilst I stood there pondering my options the heavens opened. I was already a bit wet but this was soaked in seconds kind of stuff. Cursing that had the shop not changed names I would have been inside and missed this. I literally had no choice but to run across the road and into the Caldmore Green Club for shelter (and a pint).

As I’d left the house on international duty I decided to keep in this mindset and headed for the nearby Turkish Shawarma. This place was Klair Fashions when I was a child and had a window display of big y-fronts for many years. I remember going there as a child with my mom but can’t recall what clothes we purchased but I can assure you it wasn’t the big pants in the window.

I opted for a Lamb Shawarma (basically a kebab) and some chicken wings. It was very satisfying watching him carve the meat with a massive knife, like one that Crocodile Dundee would be proud of, rather than shave it off like other places.

Whilst waiting I noticed they use big square Aluminium foil trays the biggest I’ve ever seen, which were being filled with rice and meat. Next time I go I’m all over that.

When working on my kebab he asked if I wanted salad which was quickly responded to with a “no”. He turned back and put more meat in instead. Good work Sir.

Food was good. I never really walk past this place but I could be tempted to go back.

A. Aldridge Chippy 2. Salters Road, Walsall Wood.

I’ve been in Aldridge Chippy loads of times, normally to overload myself with kebab meat and chips then realising I’ve got an hour of dancing at rehearsal. However I had no idea that there was a Aldridge Chippy 2 until my fabulous colleague Lindsey mentioned it. I was eager to get this first part of the article completed so after work last Monday I headed over.

We have a rule in our family that dates back centuries that says if your home town is going to be hit by an earthquake that evening, you have to have a good meal in readiness, plus I was ravenous upon arrival due to barely touching my lunch time sandwich as it was vile (and I’d made it so I can slate it).

They’ve not put their name in lights but I will.

The wall has various Walsall Chip Shop Of The Year certificates, making it feel a bit Black Country Armsish with all their certificates. I perused the menu but was drawn to the all day special which was mini fish, small battered sausage, chips and a choice of sauce. It wasn’t clear if it was either or regarding the fish and battered sausage and I was to scared to ask, bloody shyness, such a pain, so I just asked for the mini fish special and opted to see what I got.

I went for gravy even though I know this is somehow deemed as as a no no. @blackpooljane on Twitter regularly gets told off for having gravy on fish so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Follow her on Twitter if you want more pub blogging goodness.

The service was quick and I was soon back outside with my goodies. I opened up the lid and there was the mini fish with the sausage for company. Tremendous.

The food was ace. Chips and gravy just takes me back to the days of Mr Yip’s and I don’t have it often so that very enjoyable.

Cheers for reading. I’m off to plan part 2 of this. Think I’ll start with M. If you know a takeaway in Walsall that begins with X, please shout up and we’ll discuss it over a pint.